6. On 13 April 2007 Google agreed to acquire DoubleClick for a purchase price of USD 3.1 billion (approximately EUR 2.3 billion). Pursuant to the transaction, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Google, Whopper Acquisition Corp., will merge with Click Holding Corp., a parent holding company of DoubleClick Inc.. The parties submitted that Google will acquire all of the shares of Click Holding Corp., which in turns owns 100% of the shares of DoubleClick. The operation, therefore, constitutes a concentration within the meaning of Article 3(1)(b) of the Merger Regulation.
7. The transaction does not have a Community dimension as defined in Article 1 of the Merger Regulation. However, on 14 June 2007 the notifying party informed the Commission in a reasoned submission that the concentration was capable of being reviewed under the national competition laws of at least three Member States (Germany, Greece, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom) and requested the Commission to examine it. None of the Member States that were competent to examine the concentration indicated its disagreement with the request for referral within the period laid down by the EC Merger Regulation. The case is therefore deemed to have a Community dimension pursuant to Article 4(5) of the EC Merger Regulation.
Both Google and DoubleClick are active in the "online advertising" industry. In this sector the main players are on the one hand, web publishers selling advertising space on their internet pages in order to generate revenues4, and on the other hand, advertisers, who buy such space in order to place their advertisements ("ads") on the internet and target the audience of internet users.
The online advertising market has been growing at an extremely fast pace in recent years: according to estimates, it was expected to grow by 28.2% in 2007, while the rest of the advertising market was to grow at 3.7%. Global internet advertising spending is estimated to have grown from approximately EUR 13 billion (USD 18 billion) in 2005 to approximately EUR 17 billion (USD 24 billion) in 2006, and is expected to reach EUR 26 billion in 2008 (USD 37 billion). Its share of worldwide total advertising spending was estimated at almost 5% in 2005, 5.75% in 2006 and is forecasted to account for nearly 9% of the global advertising spending in 20095.
Web publishers provide content or services on their internet pages (e.g. from large publishers such as CNN to very small publishers such as an individual blog). In the same way that the printed press sells advertising space on their pages, any internet publisher can monetize empty space on its internet pages by selling online advertising space.
Source: Zenith Optimedia Report March 2007. Also for the EEA, IAB Europe, for example, forecasted that the online advertising spend within the IAB network in Europe during 2007 would reach EUR 11.5